People who live in cool climates often think that lizards are cute, cool, or otherwise harmless. But those of us who live in warm regions know exactly how much of a nuisance these pesky reptiles can be, especially when they venture onto your porch, into your house, or set up shop in your yard.
Lizards rarely attack humans, and most of them don’t have teeth, so the odds of a lizard injuring you are slim. Nevertheless, lizards eat insects, many of which contain diseases and other harmful bacteria that the lizards then poop out in your house. Coming in contact with this waste can cause serious health issues and can sometimes even lead to hospitalization.
Even if you don’t get infected with lizard poop, these pests — and, yes, they are pests — will munch down any fruit you have in your home. This might be cute the first time but after a while, it’s really just costly and annoying.
In this article, I’m going to give you the definitive guide on how to get rid of lizards who have invaded your home or garden.
- How to Get Rid of Lizards in Your Home
- How to Get Rid of Lizards Outdoors
- What Attracts Lizards To Your House?
- Checking for Signs of Lizard Infestation
- Prevent Lizards Returning
- Verdict: Getting Rid of Lizards
- Lizard FAQs
How to Get Rid of Lizards in Your Home
Now let’s get down to business. Lizards like to think they’re clever but you’ve got to wake up pretty early to make off with this guy’s bananas. Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of battles with lizards, and I’ve learned a thing or two, which I’m going to share with you now.
Find and Seal Entry Points
Lizards are like little ninjas, and they can detect even the slightest vulnerability in your home’s perimeter defenses. However, you can thwart their plans by locating and sealing off any entry points that they might use to infiltrate your home.
Start by closing your windows. Next, move on to sealing up any vents or exterior air ducts. You’ll also want to make sure that there are no gaps or cracks in any of your walls, as these are easy targets for hungry lizards.
Use Natural Lizard Repellents
When lizards smell the sweet, savory aroma of fresh fruit, they are powerless to resist the temptation. You can take advantage of this to turn the tables and gain the upper hand.
Lizards have powerful noses, and they can detect smells from long range. Therefore, by laying out some unappetizing repellents, you can deter lizards from entering your home in the first place.
On my quest to gain dominance over the lizards, I’ve tried many different tactics, but I’ve found the following ‘natural’ repellents to be the most effective:
Spicy Pepper Powder
Lizards hate the smell of pepper. Just about any pepper will make them think twice but if you really want to send a strong message, I suggest using a spicy pepper powder, such as cayenne pepper.
Sprinkle some cayenne pepper around your cupboards, your deck, and even out on your lawn. One whiff of the red gold, and they’ll make a beeline for the nearest tree and lament their woes.
Extra caution should be taken if you have domestic pets though. Whilst cayenne pepper is not poisonous, it can cause irritation to both cats and dogs if ingested.
Garlic or Onion
Garlic is an effective deterrent for vampires but it also works wonders on lizards.
If you want to prevent lizards from coming anywhere near your home, then a few strategically placed cloves of garlic can do the trick. If you don’t have any garlic on hand, then don’t stress out about it – onion works just as well.
When in doubt, double down with powder. Garlic and onion powder, along with some of that cayenne pepper, will let those lizards know not to mess around. Sprinkle it around your yard, and you won’t see any lizards for the foreseeable. If you’re like me, you’ll want to mix all three of these spices and create a perimeter wall around your entire property but a couple of handfuls will probably work just fine.
Avoid this option if you have cats and dogs as both garlic and onion are highly toxic to them if ingested.
This is a great option if you have domestic pets as washed eggshells are completely harmless to both cats and dogs. On the other hand, eggshells are nature’s one-two punch to the lizard kingdom.
In fact, lizards abhor the smell of eggs. One whiff of anything eggy, and they’ll tuck tail and run.
You should crush up the eggshells to make the most of your arsenal. The trick is to scatter the shells in your yard so that every lizard for miles around knows you mean business.
If you don’t have pets or young children to worry about then consider throwing in a yolk or two. The lizards will have nightmares about your lawn for years to come.
Remove Food Source
Now for the piece de la resistance. In most cases, lizards enter your home looking for some tasty fruit to snack on. You can dash their hopes and shatter their dreams by scarfing down that delicious fruit yourself.
Now, if you have a bunch of fruit, then it should be perfectly safe in your fridge. But anything that’s been sitting out in your fruit bowl should be gobbled up or mixed into a refreshing fruit smoothie and guzzled down. Cement your victory by discarding the peels outside of your property. Checkmate!
How to Get Rid of Lizards Outdoors
So, you’ve removed all the lizards from your house and sprung traps to deter them from entering again. Well done, you’ve won the battle, but the war is far from over.
You struck a devastating blow by downing that fruit and closing the windows, but your yard – that’s a whole different story. The last thing you want is to give the lizards an opportunity to regroup and regain their strength. Now you need to drive them back from whence they came.
Use Insecticide to Remove Lizard Natural Food
When there’s no fruit around, lizards will happily scarf down any insects they can find. They know now not to mess with your fruit, but if you stop here, you’ll find an army of lizards on your lawn, feasting like kings on the various bugs about town. Deny them this.
By using insecticides on your lawn, you can eradicate all of the insects on your property. Once you eliminate this food source, the lizards will have nothing left to eat.
It will be a veritable Leningrad, and much like the invading spartan army in 404 BCE, you’ll secure victory by means of attrition.
Pepper Sprays or Powders
Follow it up with more powders. Let loose your spice cupboard, and you’ll decimate any stragglers still hoping for a stray beetle. Pepper sprays are particularly effective in the lawn battle against lizards. I don’t mean the type of pepper spray you’d use in self-defense. I mean crush up some peppers, add a bit of water, and put it in a spray bottle.
This sort of chemical warfare is devastating and can break the will of any remaining lizards in your yard. For pet-free homes, spray it all over the place! On your trees, the steps leading up to your deck. All around the outside of your house. They chose the wrong lawn this day, my friend. P-Day is a day they’ll never forget.
Plant Fragrant Plants
Another thing that lizards despise is fragrant plants of any kind. Peppermint, eucalyptus, herb-of-grace, these should all be used as fortifications around your yard.
Again, lizards are guided by their sense of smell, and these plants give off powerful aromas. At first, I wasn’t particularly fond of my yard smelling like cough drops but after seeing how much the lizards hate it, I’ve learned to love the sweet minty goodness.
You may have seen advertisements online or on television for ultra-sonic pest repellents. The manufacturers of these products claim that they emit a high-frequency sound that is intolerable to lizards, rodents, and other pests.
But I can tell you from personal experience that this is an outright scam. These devices don’t work at all, and they’ve been proven to be ineffective by various laboratory studies, including studies conducted by the FTC.
If you want to strike terror into the hearts of vagrant lizards, then spend your money on cayenne pepper, garlic, onions, eggshells, and fragrant plants.
Trust me, you’ll get much better results for a fraction of the price, and with the money you save, you can buy yourself some tasty fruit to enjoy on your porch.
Call in the Pest Control Experts
Now, if you simply don’t have time to engage in this sort of warfare with your local lizard population, then you can always call in the cavalry.
Your local pest control experts will be well-trained and have all the tools needed to make quick work of any lizards who have invaded your lands.
Pest control teams use a two-step method that can catch the lizards off guard and end the war early, saving thousands of fruits in the process.
Pest control experts typically begin by inspecting your home, assessing the damage, and providing you with a professional assessment of the situation.
In this phase of the operation, they will go over their battle plans, lay out a timeline, and, if hired, lay siege to the lizards on your property.
In most cases, these services are cost-effective, and this often proves to be the most effective strategy for homeowners seeking to rid their house of lizards once and for all.
In this phase, the pest control experts will actually carry out the operation. They will sweep your house for lizards, deploy various deterrents, and generally do everything I’ve explained in this article.
In most cases, after a professional lizard treatment is conducted by your local pest control experts, the lizards will wave a white flag, surrender, and never return to your home again.
What Attracts Lizards To Your House?
First and foremost, if you have lizards in your home or yard, then it’s important that you understand why they’re attracted to your property. There are three main reasons why lizards venture into people’s homes, so let’s go over each of them.
Lizards, like all living creatures, need to eat in order to survive. Lizards love to eat small bugs and other insects, but there’s nothing they love more than fruit — bananas, watermelons, oranges, you name it.
If it’s a fruit, then you can bet there’s a lizard somewhere looking for it right now. If he smells it in your house, then guess what – you’re about to have some bad company.
Looking for Shelter
Lizards live outdoors, often in hot, muggy, rainy conditions. But that doesn’t mean they like it any more than you or I would. If the weather is particularly wet, windy, or otherwise miserable, then lizards might seek shelter indoors, and if your house happens to be the closest shelter, then it will do just fine.
Lizards don’t usually enter via the front door. Instead, they prefer to sneak in through drain vents, eaves troughs, open windows, and other inconspicuous entrances.
Access to Water Source
Finally, lizards need access to clean drinking water. Normally, they can find an abundance of water because they tend to live in humid environments that get a lot of rainfall.
However, in times of drought, during heatwaves, or if they just can’t find any clean water at that moment, then a lizard may very well invite itself into your house for a snack, a warm bed, and a refreshing beverage.
Checking for Signs of Lizard Infestation
If you see one lizard in your house, then chances are there are plenty more where that one came from. But lizards know they aren’t usually welcome, and they’ll do everything they can to remain undetected so that they can continue to take advantage of your hospitality.
So, how can you tell if you have a lizard infestation? Well, you’ll need to do a little bit of detective work but it shouldn’t prove too difficult.
Look in Dark Corners or Cupboards
Lizards like to hide in the dark, like the little fruit burglars they are. In most cases, you can find them lurking in your cupboards, under your sink, or in other dark corners, hiding and waiting for you to let your guard down so that they can snag that tasty mango right out from under you.
Check for Food Scraps
If you notice a trail of banana peels, apple slices, or other food scraps, then follow it. Chances are it will lead you right back to the den of thieves.
Lizards have no respect for your house. They’ll steal your fruit and discard the peels right there on your floor. How rude! If you’ve been seeing random food scraps scattered throughout your cupboards, then you may very well be dealing with a full-blown lizard infestation.
Check for Obvious Entry Points
As mentioned, lizards like to sneak around, carrying out their covert fruit heists under the cover of darkness, and so they typically tend to ‘mission impossible’ their way into your home. But, if you leave your door wide open, then, hey, you’re just asking for trouble.
So, if you see a lizard, any mysterious-looking food scraps, or you notice one or all of your oranges have seemingly vanished into thin air, then look around and double-check for any obvious entry points.
Prevent Lizards Returning
After many years of dealing with lizards for clients, I can tell you a thing or two. I can tell you that if not completely obliterated, they will definitely return to the scene of the crime, and they’ll pillage and plunder your fruit bowl yet again.
Of course, by completely obliterated, I mean deterred by closed windows and a deterrent.
In all honesty, lizards will return if given the chance but there are a few things you can do to decrease the odds of that happening. First, make sure that any small openings in your home are completely sealed off. This way, they won’t have any easy access points from which to enter your house.
Next, keep all of your fruit refrigerated or otherwise safeguarded from any sort of lizard attack. It’s always best to eat fruit when it’s fresh anyway, so to ensure that this doesn’t become an issue, try to eat all of your fruit within a few days of purchasing it.
Planting fragrant plants such as menthol and eucalyptus in your yard is one of the most effective long-term deterrents, as lizards can smell these plants from a long distance and will be unlikely to approach your property if these plants are present.
Finally — and pets permitting — sprinkle some cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or crushed eggshells around your property from time to time.
Fragrant plants are a great deterrent but with these plants alone, the boldest and bravest lizards will still conspire to lay siege to your house. Spicy pepper lets the lizards know that they are gone but not forgotten and will prevent a second war with them in the future.
Verdict: Getting Rid of Lizards
Lizards are cunning, deceptive, and driven by an unquenchable fruit-lust. If you let your guard down for a second, you might as well kiss your grapes goodbye. However, if you know their tricks, you can foil their mischievous plans and prevent these pesky lizards from ransacking your house, porch, and yard.
So, close your windows at night and always keep your front door closed when not in use. Make sure you seal off any vents or gaps in your walls as well. Keep all of your fruit well protected away from the watchful eyes (and noses) of any lizards in your area. When in doubt, just eat your fruit; it’s better when it’s fresh anyway.
If you have lizards in your home, then sprinkle some crushed black or cayenne pepper in your cupboards, under your sink, and in any other dark areas where a lizard might be lying in wait. If the lizards are in your yard, then sprinkle pepper, garlic, onion, and eggshells around your property.
Fragrant plants are also a great deterrent and will make all but the boldest lizards think twice about targeting your home. And whatever you do, don’t get scammed by those ultrasonic pest repellents. They’re truly just a huge waste of money.
If all else fails, then call in your local pest control experts, who can do an assessment and execute an effective lizard treatment that will eliminate the problem once and for all. Pest control services are usually relatively inexpensive and often solve the problem immediately.